Blog archive: All

  • 1st April 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A newly-formed group has joined the campaign to discredit investigations of chemical weapons in Syria and has recruited a former high-ranking UN official to its cause. "Berlin Group 21", whose website was registered on 10 March, is promoting a "statement of concern" which accuses the...
  • 29th March 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It emerged last week that a university professor who spreads conspiracy theories about chemical weapons in Syria has been passing information to someone who he mistakenly believed was working for Russian intelligence. In a lengthy email correspondence with the supposed Russian agent, Prof...
  • 17th February 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Yemeni city of Marib lies 120 km to the east of the capital, Sana'a, with mountainous territory in between. It was from Marib, in the early stages of the six-year war, that pro-government forces hoped to launch an assault against the Houthi rebels who had seized Sana'a. Since then, though, the...
  • 15th February 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The US State Department confirmed on Friday that it is revoking a last-minute decision by the Trump administration to designate Yemen's Houthi movement as a terrorist organisation. The issue is not whether the Houthis deserve to be designated – their atrocities are well...
  • 6th February 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As Covid-19 vaccines become more available, here is a country-by-country roundup of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. While some countries are still waiting for supplies, in others the roll-out is well under way. Some – mostly the wealthier ones – have struck deals with...
  • 2nd February 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In just six years a small team of investigators at the Bellingcat website have chalked up some remarkable achievements. One was their naming of Russian agents who poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal with Novichok in Britain – followed, a couple of years later, by identifying those behind a similar...
  • 28th January 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When Antony Blinken, the newly-appointed US Secretary of State, gave his first press briefing on Wednesday the first topic to come up was the war in Yemen. It's rare for Yemen to receive much attention in Washington but there are signs that the Biden administration intends to take an active...
  • 8th January 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    News that an international conference on "Gender Identity and LGBT Rights" is to take place in the United Arab Emirates is causing a stir in the gay media. The idea of holding a conference on LGBT rights in the Emirates is not only surprising but potentially significant. It would be the...
  • 4th January 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      REGIONAL OVERVIEW   New Covid-19 infections in the Middle East and North Africa averaged just under 28,000 a day during December, bringing the total since the pandemic began to almost five million, according to official figures. Across the region as a...
  • 1st January 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The attack on Aden airport in war-torn Yemen which killed at least 25 people and injured more than 100 on Wednesday appears to have had a political purpose rather than a military one. Crowds had gathered to welcome a plane carrying ministers in one of the country's two rival governments....
  • 30th December 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The American University of London is no ordinary university. Instead of having a campus it has a mailbox at a shop in the Old Brompton Road. And it once offered to sell a degree in business administration to a dog for £4,500. Though operating from the UK, the American University of London (...
  • 28th December 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Following the discovery that a Kuwaiti government minister who uses the title "Doctor" had got his PhD from a bogus university, more dodgy degrees among the Gulf state's citizens have come to light. Videos posted on YouTube show "graduation" ceremonies in Kuwait where...

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